The Humber School for Writers: Fall Workshop

Sunday, October 25–Friday, October 30
Harbourfront Centre
The Humber School for Writers is once again running their fall workshop as part of the Festival! Learn from some of today’s top fiction writers, including Aleksandar Hemon, Miriam Toews and Meg Wolitzer. For more information and to apply, click here. Early bird registration rate ends September 25!
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Carleton University Creative Writing Contest

The timelines are kind of tight but…  Carleton University is currently accepting entries to it’s Creative Writing Contest.

  • This year’s theme: Passages: Transitions Between Worlds
  • Two age categories:
    18 and under; over 18
    Two writing categories: Poetry and Short Story
    Canadian and International Entries Welcome!
  • Winning entries will be featured in a peer-reviewed anthology of prose and poetry published in spring 2015 by In/Words Magazine and Press. They will also receive a $300 cash prize.
  • Second-prize winners will receive $100. First and second-place winners will receive books donated by House of Anansi Press.
  • Postmark Deadline: February 15, 2015
  • Winners will be announced March 15th, 2015.

Find all the details here.

10 Breakable Grammatical Rules

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We’ve previously featured Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker discussing writing at a Harvard conference on the subject. In that case, the focus was narrowly on academic writing, which, he has uncontroversially claimed, “stinks.” Now, “not content with just poaching” in the land of scribes, writes Charles McGrath at The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Pinker has dared to “set himself up as a gamekeeper” with a new book—The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. The grandiose title suggests to McGrath that the scientist intends to supplant that most venerable, and most dated, classic writer’s text by Strunk and White. He’s gone from chiding his fellow scholars to writing prescriptions for us all.

Learn more at Open Culture.

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Short Prose Competition

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(Screenshot from The Writer’s Union of Canada website)

The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to launch its 21st Annual Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers, which invites writers to submit a piece of fiction or non-fiction of up to 2,500 words in the English language that has not previously been published in any format. A $2,500 prize will be awarded to an unpublished Canadian writer, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2014.

For complete rules and regulations, please go to

Crash Course on Literature with John Green

As a preteen, I steered clear of “young adult” fiction, a form I resentfully suspected would try too hard to teach me lessons. Then again, if I’d had a young adult novelist like John Green — not far out of adolescence himself when I entered the YA demographic — perhaps I’d have actively hoped for a lesson or two. While Green has earned a large part of his fame writing novels like Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and The Fault in Our Stars, a sizable chunk of his renown comes from his prolific way with internet videos, especially of the educational variety, which also demonstrate his possession of serious teaching acumen. Last year we featured his 40-week Crash Course in World History, and today we offer you his collection of crash courses in English literature.

Read more and watch the video at Open Culture.

Ernest Hemingway’s Delusional Adventures in Boxing: “My Writing is Nothing, My Boxing is Everything.”

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(Screenshot from Open Culture posting)

In a 1954 interview in the Paris Review, Ralph Ellison said of one of his literary heroes: “When [Ernest Hemingway] describes something in print, believe him; believe him even when he describes the process of art in terms of baseball or boxing; he’s been there.” I read this thinking that Ellison might be a bit too credulous. Hemingway, after all, has provoked no end of eye-rolling for his legendary machismo, bravado, and maybe several dozen other Latin descriptors for masculine foolhardiness and bluster. As for his “boxing,” we would be wise not to believe him. He may have “been there,” but the real boxers he encountered, and tried to spar with, would never testify he knew what he was doing…

Read the full article at Open Culture.

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